- Fresh fruits and vegetables. A kilo of tomatoes for about 90 cents? Oh, if you insist...
- Dessert, although this explains why my Marine Ball dress doesn't fit anymore.
- Cafe culture. Sitting at a place for three hours, sipping your tea and reading a book. Why not?
- Location. I hate to refer to the trope of "a bridge between East and West," but if nothing else, Istanbul's close to everything interesting - like a three-hour flight close.
- People. Very friendly and open. There's some element of sketch with some men, but where in the world is that not the case?
- Diversity. There's not the range of skin colors that you see in the US, but Turkey is incredibly diverse, and everyone knows from where their forefathers came. My cab driver the other day told me about how his grandparents fled Macedonia during a war and came to Turkey. Other of my friends talk casually about their home town in Spain - which their family left 500+ years ago.
- Visitors. Any time one of my friends manages to end up within two time zones of me, I can expect a visit. I love it!
- Politics. Turkey is crucial to US foreign policy in a lot of ways, which makes my job interesting. Moreover, Turkish society energetically discusses its own internal politics, and every issue has at least three sides to it here. It keeps my mind hopping.
- Conspiracy theories. God, I love them. There ought to be a prize for the craziest one each month.
- Turkish fashion. Okay, it's really just broader European fashion, but I am continually amazed at what I see walking by me on the street or in the Metro. Really, ladies?
- Makeout Alley - the sidewalk from the Metro to my apartment building, which is always crammed with couples snuggling, smoking, fighting, drinking, making out, and texting. Usually simultaneously.
- Turkish drivers. Okay, traffic is insane here, and traffic laws are more suggestions than diktats, but I kind of enjoy seeing the rules that emerge organically in this barely controlled chaos of taxis, minibusses, and scooters.
- Expat get-togethers. Strange to say, but I do enjoy meeting up with other yabancılar and kvetching. It's a little bit of home, although home normally isn't quite so chock-full of Aussies and Brits.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Things I Heart About Turkey
In no particular order.